The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said in a statement released on Sunday that it is giving members of the public a month to respond to its request for information for a 2500 MW nuclear build program.
This comes after Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said in May that The South African government planned to pursue nuclear power, if there an “appetite” in the market existed for it.
More than 77% of South Africa’s energy needs are being met by ageing coal-fired power plants that have been struggling after years of not being properly maintained.
Mantashe was addressing Parliament, when he also said the department would procure 2 500 MW of nuclear power by 2024.
“Given the long lead-time of building additional new nuclear capacity, upfront planning is necessary for security of energy supply to society into the future.
The statement said the Department would commence preparations for a nuclear build programme at a pace and scale that the country can afford because it is a no-regret option in the long term.
“This will enable the Department to gain insight into the cost of the programme, possible ownership structures, cost recovery, the end user cost and sustainability of the programme,” the statement said